Travel plans will allow you to obtain planning permission more easily and are a requirement for most major planning applications.
Somerset County Council produces detailed guidance on travel plans which you will need to follow if a travel plan is necessary for your development. You will need to show that your new development supports all smarter travel options.
“By promoting sustainable and reduced travel at work and working with local authorities to reduce the number of car dependent developments and policies, businesses can mitigate the social exclusion of people without cars who are denied access to work, education, training, healthy food and regular contact with family and friends.”
Planning Applications are made through the relevant District Council. Somerset County Council will liaise with the District Council regarding the need to produce a travel plan and the measures needed within it.
You should discuss the measures you will introduce to increase the number of people travelling by means other than in their car alone with the County Council’s Travel Plan Coordinator. Our planning guidance sets out the requirements particular to the development control process for travel plans. These guidelines should be followed in the preparation of your travel plan, the process for which is outlined below.
Travel plan process
- Your travel plan should be prepared in accordance with Somerset County Council’s guidance.
- Pre-application email or face-to-face discussions with the County Council’s Travel Plan Co-ordinator during the preparation of your travel plan will result in a smoother planning process.
- You should submit your travel plan with your planning application.
Writing your travel plan:
- There are three types of travel plan. Depending on the type of travel plan, your travel plan will need to include a site audit, an action plan and a monitoring strategy (including the setting of modal share targets, the detail of which will not be allowed to be deferred). The specific requirements will vary according to the size of site, as set out in our planning guidance – or you should ask the Travel Plan Coordinator for further advice.
- Use the Contents checklist to check your travel plan covers all the important areas. This advice includes a list of common reasons that travel plans often fail the assessment process. Updated 30 December 2010
- To help you complete your travel plan to the required standard, Somerset County Council has developed the Manual for Travel Plans, a comprehensive guide to developing a travel plan, available under Help for writing travel plans.
You can search for examples of travel plans submitted to Somerset County Council for developments since 2000 on iOnTRAVEL
Submitting your travel plan for a planning application:
- The travel plan should be submitted at the same time as the rest of the planning application, alongside the Transport Assessment and the Design and Access Statement (where relevant) and should be consistent with these documents.
- You should submit a copy of your travel plan directly to the Travel Plan Co-ordinator at the County Council, as it can talk several weeks for materials to be passed through the relevant channels from the District Council, to avoid delay.
Deferred submission of the travel plan will not be accepted, as planning and transport officers and committees will need to consider the content of the travel plan before making their decision.
Agreeing your travel plan:
After submission of the travel plan, Somerset County Council will formally assess your travel plan and usually feedback comments using the Feedback form or by email
Securing your travel plan and use of legal agreements:
You must submit the actions and targets from your agreed travel plan on Somerset County Council’s online travel plan monitoring tool – iOnTRAVEL as soon as your travel plan document has been finalised. This must happen before full approval of the travel plan can be issued.
A standard set of Travel Plan Fees applies to the supervision and ongoing auditing of the performance of each travel plan by Somerset County Council. The guidance note sets out the level of these fees in relation to the size of development. This fee is payable through a legal agreement. Updated 15 October 2010.
Travel plans will normally be secured through s106 agreement. Where they are, they will need to be accompanied by a full schedule prepared by the County Council in negotiation with the developer and District Council. The agreed travel plan will need to appended as a reference to the agreement. This means that travel plans will need to be finalised in full prior to legal agreements being signed.
Travel Plan Guidance
The Somerset Travel Plan Guidance sets out to ensure that proposed developments contribute to modal shift; defines the expected content of travel plans; aims to ensure that good quality cycle parking and other on-site physical facilities effectively support new development; sets a consistent process for the delivery of promised travel plan outcomes; and describes the overall process for efficient and predictable decisions for the development industry.
It is intended that the text within the document forms the basis of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to be offered to Local Planning Authorities (the District Councils in Somerset) for adoption as part of their local development plans. It has been prepared by Somerset County Council (SCC) and was adopted as formal SCC technical guidance in November 2011.
The thresholds at which Measures-only Travel Statements, Travel Plan Statements, and Full Travel Plans will be required are set out below
Travel plan thresholds
Full travel plans:
- 800m2 – A1 (non-food 1500m2)
- 1500m2 – B1
- 2500m2 – B2
- 5000m2 – B8
- 50 dwellings – C3
Travel plan statements:
- 500m2 – A1
- 1000m2 – B1
- 1500m2 – B2
- 2000m2 – B8
- 30 dwellings – C3
Measures-only travel statements:
- 100m2 – A1
- 500m2 – B1
- 1000m2 – B2
- 1000m2 – B8
- 10 dwellings – C3
Further explanations/caveats and other use types are covered in the Travel Planning Guidance which should be referred to in all cases.
Manual for travel plans
Manual for Travel Plans
Manual for Travel Plans is a comprehensive guide to developing a travel plan for any site including employment, housing, leisure and tourism. It is part of a business and developer support package to help manage travel to, from, and within your site.
Travel plans form an important part of business management strategies and are an essential part of most major planning applications.
The Manual for Travel Plans is divided into three guides covering all aspects of travel design and management.